on’yomi kun’yomi Radicals
にん, じん ひと

Meaning: Person

Do you remember the radical version of this kanji, where you knocked a zombie down breaking it in half, only leaving its legs standing? Then it said “Hey, I’m a Person too?” Well, this radical is a kanji too, and that kanji is Person.

Know the radicals, and you shall know the kanji.

Reading: にん, じん

Only one Person at Nintendo (にん) complained about the new Jeans (じん) policy, and that person was you.

Imagine how angry you were about the policy. You’ll have to come up with something to be angry about yourself (pick something that would actually make you angry, like maybe you’re only allowed to wear cut off short-shorts jeans at Nintendo now), but if you pick something good, you’ll definitely remember the two readings for this. Just remember you’re working at Nintendo, and the policy has to be something about jeans. Then, imagine yourself as the only person complaining and everyone else in their dumb jeans (or lack-thereof) shaking their head at you because you’re being a fool.


Make sure you know the meanings of all these words before continuing on (and, if you can, some of the readings as well). Just go through the hints and you should just magically learn some of these (as long as you know the kanji that they use well enough).

a 人(ひと)= Person

  • Meaning: The meaning is the same as the kanji’s meaning.
  • Reading: The reading is the kun’yomi reading, because it’s all alone (and not combined with other kanji) making it a Japanese vocab word. It just so happens that it’s a short Japanese word, so the reading fits inside the whole kanji.

a アメリカ人(あめりかじん) = American (person)

  • Combo: アメリカ (America) + 人 (person)
  • Meaning: A person of America is a American.
  • Reading: Because the kanji is attached to something else and a part of something else, we use the on’yomi reading. You know the on’yomi reading, but you will have to remember which one it is. Just think that Americans (and people from any country) would rather drink gin (じん) than nin, because nin isn’t actually a thing.

a フランス人(ふらんすじん)= French (person)

  • Combo: フランス (France) + 人 (person)
  • Meaning: A person of France is a French Person
  • Reading: See アメリカ人.

a 一人(ひとり)= Alone, one person

  • Combo: 一 (one) + 人 (person)
  • Meaning: A person who is one is a single person / one person / alone. Makes total sense.
  • Reading: The reading for this kanji is an exception that you have to learn straight up. The 一 is (strangely) the kun’yomi reading (ひと) and 人 gets a weird reading as well (り). Spend a few moments trying to memorize this reading before moving on.

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